8. Brian Hoover - Van Life & 111 Days Kayaking the Mighty Mississippi
The Athlinks Podcast
008 - Brian Hoover He lives in a van, down by the river ... and he f@&#ing loves it! Bonafide Van-lifer, Pacific Crest Trail hiker, Mississippi River paddler, and - if his past performance is any indication of future success - soon to be Baja Trail Mountain Biker. On the podcast today, we swap river stories with Brian Hoover and relive moments of his 111 day journey kayaking the Mighty Mississippi. He tells us how he structured his ChronoTrack timing business around his ongoing, 3 year old journey into adventure living, escaping perceived death in a bayou sugarcane field, and how a boisterous boy from Oklahoma can own a life of purpose, adventure, and happiness.
This week I got to literally sit down with my friend Brian Hoover in person and then virtually after a recording snafu on my laptop. None-the-less we powered through it like so many of us have during 2020 and were able to capture a great episode. This is the second podcast I have recorded with Brian. You will recall back in Season 1 - Episode 7 I had Brian on with me as discussed his adventures hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and we spoke literally the night before his next adventure along the PCT until the morning of when COVID-19 destroyed the plans. Brian is never one to shy away from challenges and always has a Plan B. When the second act of PCT was shut down, Brian quickly put the gears in motion for his next big adventure that he had always wanted to do, kayak down the mighty Mississippi River. Brian shares many of the adventures he and his friends face during their trip, the kind of food they would eat, the imminent danger they faced and the big fish stories that Brian has up his sleeves. You will have to listen in on this fun chat with Brian as we take a trip down the mighty Mississipp'
Brian Hoover started running, and it changed his life. Like most of us runners, he started gradually, running 5Ks first then longer races. A friend introduced him to trail races and ultramarthon distances. Then he was hooked. Racing led him to start his own business providing chip timing for racing events in the region. And, as the business grew, it gave him the freedom to work from anywhere, so he downsized to live in a van and pursue outdoor adventures. In 2019, he set off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, from Mexico to Canada. The unusual amount of snow forced him to skip the High Sierra section of the trail. It's easy to tell ourselves that we'll chase these kinds of adventures once "the time is right." But that usually ends up with us never getting around to going and doing and living the life we dream of.This year (2020) he is off on another adventure, to kayak the length of the Mississsippi.
In this week's episode I had the distinct privilege to talk with Brian Hoover. Brian has a very rich background in ultra running and exploring trails. He became a Race Director and began organizing unique races in the Tulsa area. This passion eventually led to him spending less time organizing races and more geared to being the official timer for the races. A dream that Brian had tucked away deep inside began to bubble out of him a few years ago and he traded away his so-called normal life for that of an adventurer hiking locations like the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and other exciting locations.